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|State Mental Institutions – A Crazy Place for the Truly Sick|
|News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Thursday, 11 October 2012 07:19|
Former Chief of Staff Shares 5 Reasons Why They Fall Short
Psychiatric hospitals have served as effective settings for some of the greatest films in history; it’s where Norman Bates went at the end of “Psycho,” and it’s where Jack Nicholson’s character rallied the patients in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
But how much of that fiction is based on fact?
“That depends on what kind of facility we’re talking about,” says Mike Bartos, a psychiatrist with experience at a state institution for mentally ill patients convicted of violent crimes, and author of the new novel “BASH” (Bay Area State Hospital), www.mikebartos.com.
“Some places are private institutions that more closely resemble a country club when compared to state-run facilities. The differences can be startling; however, these are places that are typically rich with characters, drama, and a fair share of staff burnout.”
The intended use of state facilities is to control and contain, if not cure, mental illness. Bartos reviews the reasons why mental institutions often fall short of that goal:
“Through my years of experience as a professional and as a human being, I know the very best medicine for mental health is love – whether it’s TLC from loved ones or truly compassionate care from doctors and staff,” Bartos says. “Unfortunately, that is too small a part of the state hospital equation.
About Mike Bartos
Mike Bartos is currently in private psychiatric practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife, Jody. He has several decades of experience in the mental health field, including a stint as chief of staff at a state hospital for mentally ill patients convicted of violent crimes, where he focused on forensic psychiatry. Bartos is a former radio show host and newspaper columnist. While practicing in Charleston, S.C., he served as a city councilman for the nearby community of Isle of Palms.
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